A tall, leafy plant rises from a black container.
A pear tree that was uprooted for my pear disease diagnosis project. I replanted it with little hope it would survive, but seeing it overcome its struggles filled me with happiness.
Photo credit: Jasmin Lama

Hello, I’m Jasmin Lama. I just finished my summer internship at Southern Oregon’s Research and Extension Center in Jackson County. I can genuinely say that it was one of the best experiences of my life. I learned so much about plant pathology, along with making unforgettable memories.

Focusing on my projects was one of the aspects of my internship that I enjoyed the most. As I mentioned in my last blog, my major project was to identify the cause of why pear trees in a Southern Oregon orchard were dying. Preparing and plating these pear tree samples took many hours of dedicated hard work. After observing them for 2 weeks, I concluded that Diaporthe eres was the causal agent. I researched this species extensively and worked hard on the lab report I submitted after my internship. For about 2 weeks, I participated in processing hundreds of frozen samples for our lab. This took up most of my days, but I gained new skills and had much fun. It gave me a great sense of accomplishment once I finished. Participating in pear shoot blight measurements was also a highlight of my internship. Observing the hemp plants for my hemp management project was also a big part of my internship. Watching them prosper, consistently watering and giving them their designated treatment was one of my favorite parts this summer.

This was an incredible experience. I want to thank the amazing mentors who made it all possible. Anupa Gaire, Joseph DeShields, and especially Achala KC, my supervisor, were like walking encyclopedias of plant pathology knowledge. They helped me learn way more than I ever thought was possible. I am so grateful for their support in the plant pathology lab.

Presently, I have transitioned into my junior year of high school. This experience has enriched my understanding and left a lasting mark personally and intellectually. Monthly meetings provided insight into the ongoing projects of my mentors, amplifying my appreciation for the field. Field trips and meeting new people from all over the county added depth to my experience. However, the most memorable experience was our road trip to Woodhall Vineyards just outside of Corvallis. It was an incredible experience being able to work in such a large vineyard and I will never forget it.

Approaching this new academic year, I’ve gotten tanner thanks to all the sunshine. More importantly, I’m grateful for the knowledge I gained from this internship. I hope to return soon. It was an amazing experience that I will cherish forever. I am excited to use the skills and knowledge I gained to positively impact the future.

A metal table filled with lab supplies.
Lab table in Milton-Freewater, setting up to conducted sugar, pH and TA measurements on wine grapes.
Photo credit: Melinda Cramp

Hello once again! It’s hard to believe I am in my last week of this internship. I’d like to believe I’ve come a long way since I started in mid-June, and I’m happy to say that I’ve continued to learn new skills since my last blog post in August. Some of those new things I’ve learned include taking the sugar content, pH and titratable acidity (TA) of wine grapes. To find the amount of sugar in wine grapes, we use a tool called a refractometer that measures how the grape juice bends light. This tells us the sugar content, and when the ideal harvesting time will be. Finding the pH of wine grapes is fairly simple with the use of a benchtop pH meter. Finally, to calculate the TA of wine grapes we use a pH meter, sodium hydroxide (NaOH), and burette to slowly drip in the NaOH into a known mixture of grape juice and water until the pH meter reads a certain number. Once that number has been met, we do some simple math to find our TA. All of this work has been done in Milton-Freewater with my supervisor Cody Copp and fellow intern Aiden Wiggins. Who knew so much went into growing grapes and making wine!

Three people walk through a field of young hemp plants.
Setting up for a hemp field day at CBARC with fellow interns Mazon Langford, Gabbie Fertello, and supervisor Alan Wernsing.
Photo credit: Melinda Cramp

Like I mentioned in my previous blog, I also spend some of my time at the Columbia Basin Agricultural Research Center. One new skill I’ve acquired in the last month is learning how to tell apart male and female hemp plants, and how to harvest and clean hemp plants once they’re ready. Hemp can be used for fiber, seed and flower. Additionally, my supervisor at CBARC, Don Wysocki, taught me all about land surveying and how to apply it in the real world.

This internship has truly taught me numerous life skills and field skills. I am thankful for all the opportunities that I have received from OSU and my supervisors. It was such a wonderful experience being able to work right in my own community.

– Melinda Cramp

Rows of young hemp plants on black weed barrier.
Hemp plants when they were first planted two months ago.
Photo credit: Aayusha Subedi

Hello! I am Aayusha Subedi from the Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center (SOREC) here in Jackson County. This summer has gone by in the blink of an eye, and I cannot believe I am at the end of my internship. Over the past two months, I have learned many new things and have created many lasting memories.

In mid-July I prepped over 150-plus grapevine samples for DNA extraction for Grapevine Red Blotch Virus detection. During this time, I also collected pear tree samples for my pear disease diagnosis project. I prepped and plated samples for the experiment, which was to identify why the pear trees were dying in the first place. I had been tasked to write a lab report on this experiment and its outcomes. In August, I worked on a hemp disease management trial. For this trial, I planted 60 hemp plants and monitored them for a month, observing them for any symptoms. I also went to a hemp farm multiple times this summer because a similar experiment was being conducted there as well. Towards the end of this internship, I worked on completing my report.

Rows of hemp plants.
Hemp plants now.
Photo credit: Anupa Gaire

Two highlights from this summer as an intern were picking blackberries with other interns and going on a treehopper collection excursion. The treehopper collecting was surprisingly fun; however, they are hard critters to catch (like the name suggests they like to hop away a lot). They were being collected as a part of a Grapevine red blotch virus detection experiment.  I also enjoyed walking around the garden located close by.

I am incredibly grateful for being able to take part in this program. Going into this position I was unsure about what to expect. One main thing I have learned a lot about is Grapevine red blotch virus and its effects on grapevines. This experience also taught me a lot about standard lab procedures and how to engage with others in a laboratory setting.

Now that I have completed my time here as an intern, I want to give my thanks to my wonderful supervisor Achala KC. I want to thank her for allowing me to work in her lab and for inviting me into the field of plant pathology. I would like to thank the amazing people who work at the SOREC, such as Anupa Gaire and Joey Deshields for helping me around the lab. I am truly thankful to have been able to receive this opportunity this year. This is an experience that will remain with me in the future. I hope to be able to come back and do this again. Once again thank you to everyone who helped make this internship and summer an incredible experience!

Two young girls in helmets, sitting on brown horses, show off their blue ribbons behind a sign saying Clackamas County Fair 2023.
Blue ribbon winners at the Clackamas County Horse Fair.
Photo credit: Brekkan Richardson

Hello everyone! My name is Brekkan Richardson and I have the amazing opportunity of working with Clackamas County 4-H as an intern this summer! Though this position brings many new connections and responsibilities, it also brings an air of familiarity. As a former 4-H member in Clackamas County myself, I entered this internship with a slight sense of confidence. My reasoning was that even if I had to watch some YouTube videos to help me unlock the secrets of a copy machine – at the end of the day, I knew what to expect when fair time rolled around. That is until the time finally came for me to provide on-site support. This support wasn’t during swine weigh-in, beef showmanship, or even small-animal health checks but a couple weeks before these events at the Clackamas County Horse Fair. Due to the size and scheduling demands of the Clackamas County Horse Program, the horse fair happens on a separate week from the remainder of the county fair. As a 4-H member, I happily explored the other project areas at the fair. Due to the nature of scheduling, Horse 4-H had not crossed my path often. The opportunity to learn more had come around even less.

Despite my lack of equine experience, I remained confident I could navigate this unfamiliar fair with only mild confusion. This expectation proved unreasonable. Although the county and horse fair exhibitors shared their passion for their projects, the projects themselves held many differences. Having quickly discovered this, I decided to use my time at the horse fair to learn as much as possible.

Fortunately, the 4-H members seemed just as happy to answer questions as I was to ask them. On the first day on site, I was informed of the most prominent difference between most animal projects and the horse program. While most animal projects are centered around the production premise, the horse program instead follows an animal whose purpose is to perform. The differences don’t stop there, as some young 4-H members inform me later in the week. Where sheep showpeople show with a required level of physical contact, horse showmanship requires members to orchestrate their horse’s movements by halter alone. Where typically each animal enters the show ring a couple times during the fair, the horse fair has many more opportunities for members to engage in various unique competitions.

Through each class, show and barn walk-through, the 4-H members of Clackamas County happily and confidently showed off their hard work and talent. I look forward to learning more from 4-H members across Clackamas County. I hope to continue encouraging members to ask questions from our youth.


Two women standing and smiling at the camera.
Daisy O’Hearn (left) and M’Kenzie Kirchner assisting in the small animal weigh-in at the Lincoln County fair.
Photo credit: Amarion Akinsanya


My name is Daisy O’Hearn, and this summer, I had the opportunity to serve as an intern for the Oregon State University Extension Service. I worked specifically with the youth development program called 4-H. This experience gave me a deep understanding of the nonprofit sector, exposing me to various aspects of event planning and execution. This internship  allowed me to witness firsthand the profound impact of the 4-H program on youth in Newport, Oregon.

A woman places her hands around a rabbit on a table.
Daisy O’Hearn provides guidance to young individuals on the proper techniques for caring for their animals.
Photo credit: Traci O’Hearn

Throughout my internship, I had the opportunity to engage in many tasks and contribute to various areas. I had the privilege of crafting and organizing engaging and tailored workshops to nurture the diverse talents and interests of young participants. The process of designing these workshops taught me the importance of adaptability, clear communication and empathy in fostering an inclusive learning environment. Within the array of clinics I developed, several were dedicated to illuminating the core of 4-H and exploring the diverse opportunities within the organization.

A woman shears a sheep.
Daisy O’Hearn hosting a clinic teaching Lincoln County 4-H youth about fair readiness and shearing techniques.
Photo credit: Amarion Akinsanya

One of the most exhilarating parts of my internship was contributing to coordinating the fair. From working with youth to ensuring the smooth execution of the fairground logistics, I better understood the planning that goes into making an event a success. The experience honed my organizational skills, taught me the significance of teamwork and revealed the immense joy of seeing the community come together to celebrate the achievements of its youth.

I also had the opportunity to attend meetings. This exposure to the inner workings of a nonprofit was incredible, giving me a realistic glimpse into the challenges and rewards of this sector. This opportunity will guide me as I continue my education and lead me to a career.

My journey with the 4-H program and the Extension Services office is far from over. Beyond the scope of my internship, I look forward to continuing my involvement and contributing to the program’s growth. As I move forward, I carry the lessons this internship taught me and the experiences I gained.

A woman in sunglasses sits on a stool and smiles at the camera.
Announcing and clerking the horse show at the Union County Fair.
Photo credit: Katie Hauser

Hi, my name is Heidi Moran, and I am an Oregon State University intern in Union County.  I am attending Eastern Oregon University and majoring in elementary education.  This summer has gone by extremely fast working for the Extension office and helping with many 4-H events.

This summer I helped with our Iron Chef cooking class through our SNAP-Ed and 4-H programs.  Every Thursday morning, I would help Jamie Cox with the classes and making sure that the kids were being responsible in the kitchen.  I really enjoyed working with the kids and building a connection with them.

Five women stand and smile at the camera.
Carole Smith, Heidi Moran, McKenzie Sheldon, Jordyn Stonbrink and Reese Roys at Tri County 4-H Camp.
Photo credit: Katie Hauser

I also helped at the Union County Fair the first week of August.  Before fair started, I announced and clerked the horse show for both Union and Baker counties and prepared packets and other things needed for fair. At the beginning of fair week, I helped clerk the art and photography section of our home economics building.   During the fair I helped clerk most of the livestock shows, helped prepare awards for the awards ceremony and helped with what was needed throughout the week.  I had participated in the Union County Fair for over nine years as a 4-H member and helped with many of the events at fair.  I never realized how much work went into preparing and working at the fair.

A boy stands at a table and chops vegetables.
Helping with the Iron Chef cooking class.
Photo credit: Jamie Cox

One of the highlights of my summer was helping with our Tri-County 4-H camp.  I helped prepare for the camp, teach an ice cream class, and help the new counselors learn some of the camp traditions.  4-H camp was something I always participated in as a 4-H member and something I always looked forward to every summer.

From this internship I have learned many new things from helping at all of these events and I will continue to use those skills in the future.  It also helped me grow my passion for 4-H and want to stay involved with it in the future.  This is something that I will continue doing throughout the rest of my college career!

At the fair.
Photo credit: Fernanda Juarez

Hi everyone, Fernanda Juarez here. I recently finished my internship and attended our county fair, and I enjoyed every bit of it! Being able to see all the 4-H kids in person and seeing them work with their animals really made me thankful to experience this internship.

From toddlers to full-grown teenagers, 4-H members were all helping each other in any way they could. It was adorable seeing the little Cloverbuds (kids from ages 5-8 in 4-H) working with their animals, which were also babies! Competitions involved kids of all different ages. In one of the biggest competitions, called “Round Robin,” kids were asked to show different species of animals and show that they are able to work with all the animals. While they did that, my team and I walked all around the arena, picking up score sheets from judges while checking and adding scores.

In 4-H, you always have a helping hand around you, because everyone is so kind to one another . This is always such a big achievement for kids in 4-H because it shows leadership in the older teens and influences the younger kids, inspiring leadership and responsibility in them as well. Introducing these qualities to kids at an early age helps them develop and learn life skills. This will help them all as they grow older and gain more responsibility.

Malheur County is small compared to other counties, so OSU Extension’s office here and the opportunities provided make a big difference to local kids. Extension’s many other local programs help our communities succeed. It’s the small things that make everything worthwhile.

Seven kids in artist smocks work at a long table covered in paper.
Kids get messy with activities at 4-H STEAM summer camp.
Photo credit: Sofie Carlson

Hi again, it’s Sofie Carlson, welcome back to my blog! I am in the final week of my incredible experience as the natural resources intern at Lincoln County Extension. Let me give you an update on the projects I’ve been working on this summer:

  • I continued composing the monthly newsletters that my supervisor, Evie Smith, sends out: Small Farms TLC Newsletter, which provides relevant information for small farms and ranches in Tillamook, Lincoln and Clatsop counties; and LC Master Gardener’s Newsletter, which contains information and expertise to help our Master Gardeners (and any other readers) meet local challenges. In total, I helped put out six newsletters!
  • I finished redesigning an updated brochure for Lincoln County Local Foods that will deliver information on all of the producers in Lincoln County conducting farm direct sales at the four local farmers markets in our county: what they sell, how to contact them and when the markets are I am really proud of the final version and can’t wait to see the printed copies make their way into the community. I joined in on one more Cooking Matters Tour at the Newport Farmers Market, with our FCH/SNAP-Ed Program Coordinator, Beatriz Botello, and Nutrition Education Program Assistant Jennifer Pettit. I hope that the brochure I created can draw more attention to Lincoln County’s farmers markets and the valuable tour that Beatriz and Jennifer give.
  • I collected more blueberries and blackberries at Gibson Farms! I ended up completing seven collections at six different sites within the blueberry farm, contributing data for a larger ongoing research project that monitors a pest called spotted wing
  • I did my last round of maintenance on a project called Juntos en el Jardin, which is a community garden located at the Newport This has been rewarding work and I am glad to have been involved in making the garden a more accessible space. I also joined Sea Grant marine fisheries educator Angee Doerr for four Fridays, with her Shop at the Dock program. I greeted and organized the tour groups for the guides to then teach families about Newport’s commercial fisheries through a tour of the port.
  • Lastly, I attended the Kids’ Garden Fair at the Lincoln City Demonstration Garden and assisted 4-H Youth Development Program Leader Shelley Spangler with one of her summer camps. These two experiences helped solidify my love for working with
  • youth and being outside learning about the natural world.
Picture of a dock in Oregon, with a sign over a walkway that says Port of Newport, Dock 5.
Shop at the Dock gives tours of the fishing boats, gear, and fisheries associated with Port Dock 5.
Photo credit: Sofie Carlson

As my time in Oregon comes to a close, at least for the time being, and I reflect on my summer, I want to give a huge thanks to my supervisor, Evie Smith, for her support and guidance. I have absolutely loved working with her and I could not have asked for a better role model to mentor me in this position. I would also like to thank all of the people I worked with at the Lincoln County Extension office; it was an amazing work environment, and I will miss working there! Lastly, I want to thank my aunt, Emily Blume, for telling me about this opportunity and letting me live with her and her family for the past two months in this beautiful state.

I will soon be heading back home to Vermont, where I will be starting a new job as a Naturalist Educator at North Branch Nature Center in Montpelier. I am excited to begin the next chapter of my life, teaching environmental education to youth in my home state.

A woman sit at an outdoor table covered with a black Extension Service tablecloth and gives the thumbs up sign.
Ava Cordle at the OSU Extension booth.
Photo credit: Olivia Jacobs

Hello everyone! I am already in my last week of my summer internship with OSU Extension’s groundwater protection program. I have really enjoyed getting to learn more about well water and getting to go out in the community to test water for nitrate. I have had the opportunity to grow by planning and attending events throughout the summer. It has been exciting to attend events, since I had been working on planning some of them back in May and June!

A rack of test tubes filled with water.
Testing well water for nitrate.
Photo credit: Ava Cordle

Some of the different events I went to this summer were Harrisburg Sounds of Summer, Silverton Farmers Market, the Corvallis farmers market and more! At these events we set up a booth where we offer free nitrate testing for people in the community to bring in their well water. To run a test, we take a bit of their well water and we use reagents that change the color of the water depending on how much nitrate is present. At a clinic I did at the Lacomb Grange I did 59 tests in just three hours! We also offer publications and information on well water and septic systems, and a lot of people stop by just to ask questions. Attending these events was my favorite part of the internship. I found it rewarding after spending a lot of time planning them.

Overall, some of my favorite parts about this internship was meeting and working with the other groundwater interns, talking with community members and getting to attend events all over Benton, Linn, Lane, Marion and Lincoln counties. I have learned so much about well water over the past few months. Coming into this internship I had never had well water and did not know much about the care of well water. I also gained skills in community outreach, creating flyers and postcards, and got to learn about the 4-H program by volunteering to help at Extension booths at fairs.

– Ava Cordle

A black box with a tall orange flag sits in a field.
Vole bait box in a tall fescue field.
Photo credit: Sprout Mahoney

Happy summer, blog readers! This is Sprout Mahoney, a soil science student entering their final year at OSU. I am so grateful I had the opportunity to intern with the OSU Extension office in Linn County. Working with Christy Tanner, the south valley Extension field crops agent, has educated me about how science fits into agriculture and how Extension helps to bring research with the community.

One project I got to participate in is Mint Pest Alert, a publication that goes out to mint growers around Oregon. Every week I visited mint fields to collect insect samples to identify pests and do population surveys. This information is vital for targeting pests at the right time in their lifecycle. Using precision treatments at the proper time helps to prevent broadscale pesticide use that can harm beneficial insects.

I was able to witness another research project happening in a local clover field where treatments for the clover seed weevil were being studied. It was fascinating to see researchers work together during the harvest and weighing of clover seed. Measuring the seed weights of the different plots can determine which treatments led to best yields, and conclusions can be drawn to which treatments were most effective against the weevil.

Aerial images of a field.
Aerial image of a vole bait box (left center) surrounded by healthy and damaged tall fescue plants. NDVI image of the same area (right), with green showing healthy growing vegetation and yellows/reds showing damaged vegetation and bare soil.
Photo credits: Christy Tanner and Sprout Mahoney

Another project was related to gray-tailed moles and their damage to grass seed fields. Vole damage in the Willamette Valley can be extensive and there are limited ways for growers to tackle the vole challenge. The study being conducted is to research the effectiveness of different vole baits and if these baits can be applied in above-ground boxes rather than directly into burrows. The tamper-resistant bait boxes are more cost-effective and also more directed, targeting the voles and limiting the risk of rodenticides to other vertebrate wildlife. I was able to join in multiple visits to tall fescue fields where these boxes were placed with different baits. We measured not only the amount of bait consumed at each plot but also took aerial photographs of the fields by drone. Analyzing this drone footage is another tool being used to measure stand growth and identify areas of greater or lesser damage.

The summer is a busy time for grass seed farmers in the Willamette Valley as they cut, dry, collect and process their crop. While doing field visits, I got to watch the different steps of this process and then research it further as I wrote an article about grass seed harvest for Extension’s “Growing” publication. My article informs the public know what is going on once the combines leave the fields.

I have greatly enjoyed my summer internship and all the activities I have been able to be a part of. The skills I have learned, the information I have gained, and the people who have inspired me will help to shape my future in agriculture. I look forward to continuing my academic and professional journey knowing that the OSU Extension Service is there to help the community in so many ways.